Tim Paulding joined the Lighthouse team in May of 2013. Tim recalls that the biggest reason he wanted to work in the field of blindness rehabilitation was to “make an impact in people’s lives, help people become more independent, help them become more empowered, to do the things they want to do, and to get to work”.
Reflecting on his role as an ECS Services and Instructional Manager, Tim shares. “A typical day is pretty atypical.” In addition to training students in orientation and mobility, Tim works on curriculum development for his students, and leads various programs such as braille literacy training, computer training, and blindness awareness training.
“I like the variety, and I thrive on the kind of blended role I have right now. I get to impact a lot of people in a lot of different ways,” he notes.
Tim Paulding’s Journey to Lighthouse
Tim shares that his vision loss has been a big part of his journey. “All through my childhood and early adulthood I was visually impaired. In my late 20s and early 30s my glaucoma worsened. I eventually lost vision altogether 10 years ago.”
After graduating from college, Tim went to a blindness training center in Louisiana. There, in order to graduate he had to cook a meal from scratch for 40 people, navigate back to the center after being dropped off at an unknown location, take a trip out of town, and more. “I had to do all these things in blindfolds; for 6 months, 8 hours a day, I was in blindfolds.”
“It was really hard,” he shares, “and I actually wanted to quit halfway through. But I finished it, and felt empowered that no matter what happens to my vision my life did not have to come to an end.”
At the Lighthouse, Tim shares these stories with his employees and students to encourage them and empower them. “Everything will be alright as long as you put your best foot forward,” he tells them.
At the Lighthouse
Since his time at the Lighthouse, Tim has attended various training sessions. “When I was first hired, Lighthouse sent me to Florida for a week to learn how to write custom scripts for JAWS. I had never been on a trip like that where I was flown somewhere by the company because they valued me and were investing in me,” he shares.
“Working at the Lighthouse gives me the choice of whether I want to rely on somebody else or if I can get to where I want and do the things that I want to do myself.”
“As my job roles have changed at the Lighthouse, I have been able to take my disability and grow as a more capable blind person and walk with others to help them through their journey.”
Talking about the future, Tim shares that he is very excited about the direction the Lighthouse is taking. “We will be even more than an employer for blind people. We will also be a resource in the community and bring more people to be as self-sufficient and independent as they can be.”